Consider the cost of unsafe workplaces

WorkSafe is reminding Victorian employers and workers of the shocking consequences of workplace harm after the loss of 61 lives last year.


The upsetting 2022 workplace fatality toll includes 24 people who died following a traumatic workplace incident and 17 who lost their life as a result of a work-related road collision.

Sadly, a further 14 people succumbed last year to a disease contracted during employment; there were four deaths following work-related medical incidents or medical complications from workplace incidents; and two workers died from work-related suicides.

In addition, more than 24,000 people were injured seriously enough to have a claim for workers compensation accepted last year.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Officer Colin Radford is urging Victorians to think about safety in their own workplaces while reflecting on the lasting impact of deaths and serious injuries.

"Both employers and workers should understand that there is no such thing as unavoidable workplace harm," Mr Radford said.

"Every single work-related death and injury in 2022 could have been prevented, along with the pain and suffering endured by the families, friends and colleagues of those impacted."

Mr Radford said WorkSafe would continue to target high-risk industries and sectors to ensure the right measures were in place to control their specific health and safety risks.

"It's incredibly frustrating that we are still seeing the same type of incidents happen in workplaces were the hazards and controls should be well known," he said.

"WorkSafe has a range of enforcement tools at its disposal for duty holders who fail to provide a safe and healthy workplace, including possible court action with significant potential penalties."

WorkSafe successfully prosecuted 123 companies and directors for breaches of workplace health and safety laws last year, resulting in court-imposed fines totalling $5.59 million.

Last year's deaths were down from the 2021 workplace fatality toll, which now stands at 79.

Of the workplace fatalities in 2022:

  • There were 35 deaths recorded in metropolitan Melbourne, including 10 in the southern-metro area, while 26 fatalities occurred in regional Victoria.
  • Transport, Postal & Warehousing was the deadliest industry with 14 fatalities; followed by Agriculture, Construction and Manufacturing which each recorded eight fatalities.
  • Incidents involving on or off road vehicles, were the top cause of death accounting for 23 fatalities; long-term contact with chemicals and substances led to 11 deaths; and falls from height were responsible for nine fatalities.
  • Truck driver was the most dangerous occupation with 11 work-related deaths.
  • Males made up more than 90 per cent of those who lost their lives, while almost two-thirds were aged 55 or older at the time of their death.